Press Release

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XENOPHON’S INQUIRY QUESTIONED BY FARMERS

2013-12-05

“One has to question the motives behind South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon’s push to establish yet another inquiry into the impact of Genetically Modified (GM) foods in Australia and his desire to once again tell farmers in Western Australia what they should grow and to whom they should sell it to,” PGA Western Grain Growers Chairman John Snooke said.

 

“Senator Xenophon has a long history of opposing commercial agriculture, from co-sponsoring a Bill to ban the live export trade to trying to introduce a National Regulatory Body for Wheat Exports, to stopping foreign investment in agriculture and his latest alarmist venture should be treated with disdain by his Parliamentary colleagues, especially as he is trying to gain political relevance by openly supporting anti GM farmer Steve Marsh in his lawsuit against his neighbour, Mike Baxter.”

 

“It is surprising that so late in the anti-GM alarmism cycle Senator Xenophon seeks to establish an inquiry with the sole purpose of stopping grain producers from accessing this safe and proven technology, especially one which has been readily accepted by farmers in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and throughout the world.”

 

“Each year world wide more land is seeded with GM Canola than the preceding and in Western Australia it is estimated that next season over 25% of WA farms will be planting GM Canola, benefiting from increased yield and oil content, producing top gross margins and most importantly coexisting peacefully with their neighbours, regardless of what they produce,” Mr Snooke said.

 

“GM products are readily accepted by consumers in Australia and with our major global trading partners.  They are subject to some of the most stringent federal approvals and after two decades of intensive peer reviewed scientific testing have been shown to pose no threat to humans, animals or the environment.” 

 

‘In fact this announcement comes only days after one of the most reputable scientific journals Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a controversial French paper claiming toxicity issues with GM corn after further peer review deemed it unfit for scientific publication.”

 

“Instead of once again trying to meddle with an industry he knows little. if anything about and picking sides in a legal case before the evidence is heard in the Supreme Court, Senator Xenophon should be using his time constructively to overturn the prohibition within his own State which continues to deny SA grain growers access to GM seed and is limiting their competitiveness not only in Australia, but world wide.”

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